Nature lovers of all ages will welcome the easy accessibility of this Grand Canyon tribute.

IN THE CANYON

The Grand Canyon? That nearly 2 billion–year-old, 277-mile-long, and 1-mile-deep “crevice” in northern Arizona? Never heard of it?

Well, grab a hat and backpack and follow an intrepid young hiker as she takes readers from the rim to the canyon floor while pointing out sights in sprightly, two-line rhymes. “The clouds come up, the wind blows in / the shadows fall upon hot skin.” Wolff’s linoleum-block prints colored in gouache meticulously detail native plants and wildlife amid the landscape. Warm tans, oranges, and yellows bring the magnificent canyon to life along with Scanlon’s collegial, nature-guide commentary. The only narrative false note is struck at the ending, which abruptly plucks narrator and readers from the spectacular landscape and plunks them down in the middle of the city. Striking endpapers feature a double-page spread of popular canyon landmarks with a tagged California condor soaring in the foreground. The author’s note and fact-filled glossary keep the story from bogging down while providing relevant historical and scientific information. Internet URLs are included for the National Park Service, Grand Canyon Association, and National Geographic.

Nature lovers of all ages will welcome the easy accessibility of this Grand Canyon tribute. (Picture book. 3-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-0348-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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WE ARE IN A BOOK!

From the Elephant & Piggie series

Stalwart friends Piggie and Gerald the elephant push the metafictive envelope in a big way when they realize that "someone is looking at us." Is it a monster? worries Gerald. "No," replies the squinting Piggie. "It is... / a reader! / A reader is reading us!" How? wonders Gerald. Piggie drapes herself on a word bubble to demonstrate: "We are in a book!" "THAT IS SO COOL!" Joy leads to a little bit of clever practical joking—Piggie figures out how to make the readers say "banana" out loud, and hilarity ensues—which gives way to existential angst: "The book ends?!" exclaims an appalled Gerald. Emergent readers just beginning to grapple one-on-one with the rules of the printed codex will find the friends' antics both funny and provocative: Just who is in control here, anyway? As always, Willems displays his customary control of both body language and pacing even as he challenges his readers to engage with his characters and the physicality of their book . The friends' solution to the book's imminent end? "Hello. Will you please read us again?" You bet. (Early reader. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4231-3308-7

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2010

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HAIR LOVE

A black girl helps her dad learn how to give her the perfect hairstyle for a very special day.

Zuri’s voluminous head of hair “has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way.” She is pictured asleep with a large Afro framing her face. She is proud of her hair, which she sometimes wears in braids with beads like a princess and other times in pigtail puffs. But today is a special day. She knows Daddy is “worn-out” and probably needs a break, so she lets him sleep in while she looks up hairstyles on a tablet. When Daddy wakes and offers to help, he tries a series of hairstyles that just don’t work. Finally, Zuri grabs some hair supplies and shows him a tutorial. “Watching carefully… / Daddy combed, / parted, oiled, and twisted. / He nailed it!” Zuri is lovely and happy with her freshly done hairstyle, and when Mommy arrives to their “Welcome Home” sign, she loves Zuri’s look too. The digital illustrations feature details that feel just right: Zuri’s thick, textured hair, Daddy’s locs and tattoo, and dark-skinned Mom’s bright headwrap. While it’s unclear where Mommy is returning from (she is dressed casually and has a rolling black suitcase), this authentic depiction of a loving and whole black family broadens the scope of representation.

Positively refreshing. (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55336-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kokila

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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